Amy worked at a bank for 14 years and eventually it became not worth the hours she had to put in anymore, so she decided to retire. This led her to thinking about what else she could do for work, ideally from home. Since she was good with numbers...
Amy worked at a bank for 14 years and eventually it became not worth the hours she had to put in anymore, so she decided to retire. This led her to thinking about what else she could do for work, ideally from home. Since she was good with numbers already, bookkeeping seemed like a solid choice. She signed up for Bookkeeper Business Launch and went from there.
[6:00] Nonprofits were the niche that Amy chose to work with because working around or in them has been a part of her history and experience. She felt like she was in a unique position to help nonprofits specifically.
[7:50] In the beginning, Amy felt like everything had to be ready to go before she officially launched her business and she ended up pushing her launch back until the last week of August. She got her first three clients in the same week right before Thanksgiving.
[9:25] The first client was a Facebook referral, the other two were found on Indeed by applying for remote bookkeeper positions. There is always a price to getting clients, it’s either your effort, your time, your money, or some combination of all of them.
[11:30] The best way Amy has found to get clients has been to spend time in Facebook groups where she knows her ideal clients hang out. Giving value first is the basic strategy. Niching down is one of the keys to Amy’s success.
[14:10] Now that Amy is running her own business she can turn down the work that doesn’t fit the lifestyle she wants to live.
[15:25] Confidence in her ability to execute was one of the biggest challenges she’s had to face in starting her business. She learned a lot in the first 60 days. Each new client brings its own set of challenges. Knowledge has to be combined to gain confidence.
[19:00] All of Amy’s clients are across the country and she can essentially operate her business from everywhere.
[20:05] Running her own bookkeeping business has drastically improved Amy’s family life.
[22:10] In the beginning, Amy just wanted to bring in something for her family but at this point she’s looking at breaking past six figures and bringing additional staff to handle the workload. She’s focused on building a real business complete with brand identity.
[25:10] Get specific on your goals and what your business is going to do for you. You’re going to be much more motivated by internal goals rather than external goals.
[27:20] What do you want to be when you grow up? Now that Amy is becoming established she has to put some thought into her branding and how she wants to be viewed in her market. As you scale your business your brand becomes more important.
[30:45] A brand is a perception of who you are as an organization and perception is reality. Your brand needs to attract and repel. When someone is looking at your business, what do you want them to feel?
[34:35] Write down the words you want people to use to describe your business. Ask your clients how they would describe you already. A brand is something that is crafted, it’s not created overnight. Don’t be a copycat brand, your brand should be unique to you and your company.
[38:20] Amy may not need to market her business very hard at this point, her current methods have worked pretty well. You shouldn’t start to look for new growth strategies until the one you are using effectively stops working.
[41:10] Amy has walked in an Executive Director shoes so she knows what they need in terms of a bookkeeper. The feelings and perceptions of her ideal client will inform the brand she is trying to create. Additional perceptions can come from the auditors and board members that Amy can tap into.
[46:10] These words and descriptions will become the core beliefs, the manifesto that determines your steps going forward. Some core values are better than others but there is no wrong or right set. Establishing your core values is key to keeping people on your team long term. There is no proven methodology to creating your brand other than what comes from within.
[50:35] Amy always thinks back to her future obituary and what she hopes people will eventually say about her. She hopes her business will allow her to spend more time with her family and live the life she wants. Once you understand your brand and core values, it makes your business decisions much easier.
[54:30] Amy’s action items include figuring out what she provides to her clients and what her company stands for. Building a brand is intentional and done over time.
Mentioned in this episode: ADEM Bookkeeping